Affordable Care Act, healthcare, Obamacare — December 30, 2014 at 11:32 am

The Affordable Care Act gives Virginia woman the freedom to pursue her dream


This entrepreneur was able to start her own business thanks to Obamacare.

Lisa Kaneff has always considered herself a writer. In fact, that’s how she’s always introduced herself to people. But she wasn’t living that dream to the fullest, until the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made it possible.

Before the ACA, Lisa was working in public relations and marketing as a writer, but working for others wasn’t as satisfying as she would have liked. “I never felt fulfilled,” she says. “I was always a writer first but I didn’t know how to make a living out of it.”

After 12 years in marketing, Lisa says she woke up one day feeling “stuck” in a professional current, just floating along. She didn’t have any debt other than a small student loan, and being in her early 30s she decided the time was right.

I had the experience and network and financial situation to go out on my own. All I needed was health insurance. I have chronic conditions, so I’d been turned down for insurance before. With the ACA, it was like the final piece of the puzzle was in place, so I could finally do what I wanted.

Lisa, who lives in Virginia, launched her business in March 2014 as a full-time writer. She works frequently with progressive non-profits and politicians.

“Writing about candidates that supported the ACA was inspiring,” she says. “I felt like these people were fighting for me, too.”

For the first nine months, Lisa qualified for tax credits to help her pay for her Bronze-level insurance plan. But now her business has picked up so much that she no longer qualifies for tax credits. “I’m happy to be told I don’t need financial assistance,” she says.

Her monthly premium is just $217 per month, with a $5,500 deductible. Because of the ACA, Lisa has no fear of having to go without health insurance — something she faced about seven years ago when she was briefly unemployed.

Lisa has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal imbalance that can lead to other health issues if left untreated. She also has a thyroid condition and has had multiple foot surgeries. These conditions require regular follow-up with her doctors. When Lisa tried to apply for insurance during her unemployment, she could not even get bare-bones catastrophic coverage because of her PCOS. A second insurer turned her down for the simple fact that she’d been turned down by the first insurer. Eventually, she was able to get insurance but it didn’t cover much for the price.

Thanks to the ACA, everything Lisa needs is covered.

Now the care I get for my PCOS is covered at no cost, which is kind of amazing. Having a pre-existing condition no longer makes me a pariah. They understand it isn’t ‘a lady issue’ — it’s a health issue and they’re taking care of it appropriately.

Perhaps most important of all, Lisa has the peace of mind that comes from knowing she is covered, no matter what, and isn’t dependent on an employer.

There’s no way I could have gone out on my own without the ACA. When I went out on my own, people said ‘This is what the Republicans were talking about — you’re going to leave your job.’

But that’s not what I did. I didn’t want to just slack off. I am more of a benefit to the economy, doing something I love rather than being a cog in the machine. I’m working and paying my taxes, and I have better job security than someone changing jobs every couple years because they’re bored and unhappy.

The happiness factor is important to Lisa. Being able to do what she loves makes her happier, which is good for her health and well-being. “I would not have wanted my life to go any other way,” Lisa says, “and I’m so grateful.”

What’s your dream? There’s still time to find coverage for 2015 so you can have the freedom to go after yours. Open enrollment continues through February 15th, 2015. Visit to enroll.